Background: Sickle-cell disease (SCD) is the most common inherited genetic disorder in sub-Saharan Africa, and it is associated with early mortality and lifelong morbidity. Early diagnosis is essential for instituting appropriate care and preventive therapy. Objective: To compare parental knowledge or perception of their offspring's hemoglobin phenotype prior to testing and actual validated laboratory test results. Methods: In a prospective community-based survey, we assessed parental knowledge of their children's hemoglobin phenotype and corroborated this with the results from a laboratory confirmatory test determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Results: We screened 10,126 children aged less than 5 years. A total of 163 (1.6%) parents indicated that their offspring had been previously tested and had knowledge of the child's hemoglobin genotype. However, 51 (31.2%) of 163 parents of children who had been previously tested did not know the result of their offspring's test, and 18 (35.3%) of these 51 children were found to have SCD. Of those who claimed previous knowledge, 25 (15.3%) of 163 reported incorrect results. Overall, we identified 272 (2.76%) new cases from 9,963 children who had not been previously tested. Conclusion: There is the need to promote public awareness about SCD and the benefit of early diagnosis, quality assurance in laboratory diagnosis and institution of sustainable patient care pathways.
- Parental education
- Sickle-cell disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health